The Secret Paris of the '30s

The Secret Paris of the '30s

by Brassai
     
 
"During my first years in Paris I lived at night, going to bed at sunrise, getting up at sunset, wandering about the city from Montparnasse to Montmartre. And even though I had always ignored and disliked photography before, I was inspired to become a photographer by my desire to translate all the things that enchanted me in the nocturnal Paris I was experiencing.

Overview

"During my first years in Paris I lived at night, going to bed at sunrise, getting up at sunset, wandering about the city from Montparnasse to Montmartre. And even though I had always ignored and disliked photography before, I was inspired to become a photographer by my desire to translate all the things that enchanted me in the nocturnal Paris I was experiencing."

Alone, or in the company of friends, Brassaï discovered and recorded the forbidden Paris of the 1930s, its brothels, whores, pimps, opium dens, and transvestite cafés—the sordid yet fascinating bas-monde where high society mingled with the underworld. The Secret Paris of the '30s is one of the most remarkable photographic memoirs ever published: like his predecessor Toulouse-Lautrec, Brassaï chose to portray a hidden and daring subject matter. His photographs reveal a milieu previously known only through books such as the novels of Henry Miller (a frequent companion of Brassaï's nocturnal rambles), the seamy, grimy, yet infinitely exciting reality that tourists still think of when they seek "Paris by night." These unique pictures are accompanied by an immensely interesting text in which Brassaï reminisces and describes the extraordinary conditions under which he took his photographs. 150 b/w photographs.

Author Biography: Brassaï (Gyula Halász) was born in 1899 in the Transylvanian village of Brasso. A painter, he arrived in Paris in 1923 and was introduced to photography by André Kertész in 1929. He is legendary for his discreet yet intimate photos of the nocturnal world of Paris.

Editorial Reviews

Virginia Quarterly Review
Brassaï's text is superb; his photographs are unforgettable.
New Republic
[A] textbook example of candid photography being used as a tool for cultural investigation at the beginning of its golden age.
San Diego Union Tribune
Offers . . . [a] peephole slant of Brassaï, the grungy 'forbidden' glamour that once made his books contraband.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780500271087
Publisher:
Thames & Hudson
Publication date:
06/28/2001
Pages:
192
Sales rank:
971,698
Product dimensions:
8.26(w) x 10.60(h) x 0.70(d)

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